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The Grace Kelly of Cupcakes

  • Lemon-Blueberry Buttermilk Cupcakes
  • Grace Kelly Cupcakes in the making

By Robyn Doyon-Aitken, Web producer

June 1st, 2011

If I had any other job, I might hate birthdays, promotions, retirements, any of those work celebrations that include the dreaded office cake. You all know the cake I’m talking about. It's dry, tasteless, sometimes marbled (as though there were a flavor differentiation), the one with the gritty, way-too-sweet frosting. The office cake is a horrible way to acknowledge someone’s well-earned anything. It should be the thing your co-worker gets when she makes a huge mistake that costs the company money. “Oh, no! She got the office cake. Dibs on her electric pencil sharpener!”

But I work here. So when there’s something to celebrate, we do it right. We do it with what Chocolate and Chard blogger, Fine Cooking’s own Evan Barbour, calls the “Grace Kelly of cupcakes.” Indeed, her Lemon-Blueberry Buttermilk Cupcakes are a classic, summery flavor combination presented elegantly. When you make these for your co-worker’s birthday or retirement (because you know better than to buy that cake!), do as Evan suggests and “top each with the prettiest blueberries you can find.” That won’t be hard to do right now, and your co-workers will appreciate the effort.

posted in: Blogs, baking, dessert, summer, Cupcakes
Comments (7)

lvngwell writes: Here is the original recipe at another link:

Lemon-Blueberry Buttermilk Cupcakes with Honey-Cream Cheese Icing
makes 20

for the cupcakes (recipe slightly adapted from this one)

3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
2 cups bleached flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
Zest of 3 lemons
1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
1 tbsp. flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put paper cupcake liners in a 12-cup muffin pan. Toss the blueberries with 1 tbsp. flour. Beat the butter, lemon zest, and sugar for 5 minutes at medium speed until light and fluffy (be sure to do the entire 5 minutes – this makes a big difference!). Beat in eggs one at a time, scraping bowl and beaters between each to incorporate.

Sift flour with the baking powder, salt, and baking soda. Add a quarter of the flour mixture to the butter-egg mixture. Then add vanilla and a third of the buttermilk. Repeat, beginning and ending with the flour mixture and scraping well after each addition. Gently fold in the blueberries.

Pour batter into prepared muffin pans. Bake 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool pans on a rack for 5 minutes. Turn cakes out and cool completely.

for the icing

8 oz. softened cream cheese
1 stick softened butter
2 cups confectioner’s sugar
1/3 cup honey
Zest of 1 lemon
1 tsp. vanilla
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
Large pinch of salt

In a mixer or a large bowl, combine the ingredients until completely smooth. It will be a bit runny, but that’s how it’s supposed to look (I prefer my icing creamy and on the runny side; add more confectioner’s sugar or less honey/lemon juice if you beg to differ).

Ice the cooled cupcakes and top each with the prettiest blueberries you can find.

Posted: 2:30 pm on May 17th

bittersweet writes: I'd love to try this recipe, but it's no longer available. Can someone please direct me to a source. Posted: 8:47 am on January 27th

dbow2458 writes: Having been baking for many years, I must say these cupcakes and the frosting are excellent. The texture and crumb, just about perfect as I did not change/substitute anything.My husband does not like anything lemon-flavored, but really liked the frosting. I am so tired of eating bakery or supposedly home made cupcakes in our area that are just terrible, that I am definitely going back to making my own after these! They kept well in a covered glass cake stand since I put the extra frosting in the fridge and frosted when I needed it. Great recipe. Posted: 1:15 pm on September 3rd

lucyg22 writes: I made these for my coworkers and have already had several people request them again. I was initially uncertain about the yield since the top states 20, while the recipe says "grease a 12-cup muffin pan," but I forged ahead and made 12 cupcakes and an 8-inch round layer. (I only have 1 muffin tin.) I thought the icing might be too runny so I started with 1/4 cup honey instead of 1/3, and might reduce it a little more next time. I used powdered buttermilk according to the instructions and it worked fine. Posted: 8:31 pm on July 2nd

kashmirkat writes: I made these the other day - yum! Even my cat likes them! ;) (Caught the kitty on the table licking my daughter's boyfriend's cupcake frosting :o lol) Posted: 8:29 pm on June 9th

LisaWaddle writes: The flip side of this is the pressure to bring something truly great in! It would just be wrong to bring in a bakery dessert (even a fabulous one) to a Fine Cooking party! Posted: 1:16 pm on June 2nd

DessertForTwo writes: Oh, my office has the WORST office cakes. And everyone gathers together like it's something to celebrate--a white soggy cake made with partially hydrogenated soybean oil topped with a overly sweet frosting with the same oil. Ever since I started working here though, I bake the birthday cakes for the people on my immediate team. It is GREATLY appreciated. My favorite cakes to use are from the 'just desserts' issue of Fine Cooking! Classic poundcake, chocolate nut upside down cake, and cinnamon chiffon cake are our favorites! Posted: 1:47 pm on June 1st

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